Team Sky admit Volta a Catalunya mistakes and won't 'make an excuse'

Team Sky's Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas were both distanced on the first climb of sixth stage of the Volta a Catalunya, losing more than 25 minutes.

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Team Sky suffered a horrid day in the mountains at the Volta a Catalunya on Saturday, but are refusing to blame their errors on anything but their own mistakes.

Chris Froome, who was second before the start of stage six, was caught out on the day's first climb when the race split into three distinctive groups.

>>> Chris Froome loses 26 minutes as Daryl Impey wins stage six of Volta a Catalunya

Froome and his teammate Geraint Thomas were unable to chase back to the leading group that contained race leader Alejandro Valverde and other race favourites, eventually rolling home more than 25 minutes in arrears.

Sky's DS Nico Portal conceded: “We made a big mistake. I’m not going to try and make an excuse, there is no excuse.

"The guys have been brilliant up until today. It looks like it was a positioning issue. The guys weren’t in the top positions on the first descent and this is what can happen."

Despite the disappointment - Froome was hoping to overtake race leader Valverde - Portal was keen to stress that the team would much prefer to make such big errors in week-long races, than in Grand Tours.

However, it is the second stage race in March that Sky have made irreversible errors: at the Tirenno-Adriatico a poor team time trial put paid to Thomas' chances of overall victory.

“It’s a good reminder for us that it can happen to anyone," Portal added. "It’s always bad when it happens, but maybe it’s better to happen here, and we learn from it, than in some of the bigger races we will have this season."

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.